Our Joint Finance Appropriations Committee (JFAC) voted early in the 2024 legislative session to split our state agency budgets. This meant the House and Senate would vote on the maintenance segment of the state budget, and then have debate on the line items or new requests (including governor’s requests) to determine wants and needs.
This new method of funding is much more transparent and works for the citizens of Idaho to provide more accountability from your senator and representatives.
However, early Friday morning, several Republicans joined with the Democrats to renege on this more pragmatic procedure.
Republican Representatives Rod Furniss, Matt Bundy, Britt Raybould, James Petzke, Clay Handy joined Democrat Brooke Green (through a substitute), and Republican Senators Van Burtenshaw, Dave Lent, Kevin Cook, Julie VanOrden joined Democrat Senators Janie Ward-Engelking and Rick Just to pass new budgets that included both the maintenance portion and new line items. Combining these budgets will undoubtedly increase unnecessary state spending.
Switching this back to the former method forces those of us who are authentically conservative to vote on a bill that, for example, funds the Idaho State Police and has line items to fund a helicopter and/or other nonessential items. If we vote NO, we are accused of “defunding the police,” when in reality we are protecting the wallets of Idaho families, and other Idaho citizens on tight budgets.
MAKE NO MISTAKE—this will grow our Idaho agencies and consequently our state budget. Right now it is the difference between the $12.1 BILLION maintenance funding and at least $13.6 BILLION with the line items included.
What can YOU do to stop this? Contact your two representatives and senator to tell them to APPROVE the $12.1 billion budgets that are on the House and Senate floors now, and that you don’t want them to go back to the old way of approving combined maintenance/line item (or new spending) budgets. Find your legislators HERE.